The Big Day

Right on schedule: she splashed.

From the very beginning of this project, the folks at American Tug described the completion and launch of the boat as “late March”.  And what do you know? On March 30 they dropped her in the water.  That pretty much describes our entire experience with American Tug: 100% on everything.  More on that later.

Here is a video of the launch, which took place at 8:30 am, and the sea trial, which started at 9:45 and ended successfully at 11:15.


Continue reading The Big Day

Pre-Launch Boat Video

Esmeralde is within a week of being launched and sea-trialed.  Naturally, we are jittery with anticipation.

We have tried to document the build process along the way as best we could from a distance (across the country).  Now that we are literally sleeping and eating within a stone’s throw of the boat, we are going a little nuts.

Here is some video of the boat yesterday, Sunday, while the builders were taking a well-deserved break in the action.

(For those of you who migh not be able to see the video on YouTube, you should be able to see it on Vimeo.)

The Waiting Game

IMG_1959We arrived in LaConner, WA on March 13 to see our new boat for the first time.  She is scheduled to be launched at the end of the month.  This time frame gives us great opportunity to see the final build process on the boat, and also to explore the the Pacific Northwest, which we have never visited before. Continue reading The Waiting Game

Meet The Tug

D4AB0153-240C-49F1-8EC0-2EE3AB57BBAAThe new ESMERALDE.  We met her in person for the first time today at her birthplace in LaConner, WA.  A very exciting, long-anticipated day.  We probably look totally goofy and giddy in some of these pictures, but the reality is that we felt a little but that way as we explored our new baby.

We also met some of the great folks at American Tug/Tomco Marine who are building her: Kurt Dilworth, who has been our ever-patient and wise counselor throughout the process, Cheryl Stinson, Mike Schoppert, and a bunch of the men and women on the factory’s floor and in the purchasing and supply offices — all great people who have done excellent work as our oat has come together over the last seven months. Continue reading Meet The Tug

Astoria to Portland, Oregon

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KOA Astoria camp site

We left our campground outside of Astoria in the rain (again) and drove to 3 Cups Coffee for a snack: more great coffee, and the best savory sausage tomato scone you could imagine!  Debated a trip over the Astoria-Megler Bridge to see Ilwaco on the WA side of the Columbia River and to visit the  Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center at North Head, but the rain depressed our adventurous instincts so we pointed the bow towards our next destination, Portland OR, about a two hour drive along the Columbia River.  This route also put us on I-5 for a short distance, which was a little bit disappointing since we had so far driven the entire length of the Pacific Coast from Santa Monica to Astoria without ever getting on I-5.  At least we were using it only to backtrack to the south.  We could have taken the mountain road (Route 26), but we were a little bit done with mountain roads in the pouring rain. Continue reading Astoria to Portland, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon, With [almost] No Rain

We woke up this morning in the Bambi to a torrential rain squall.  I though, “Oh no, here we go again.”  And it did continue to sputter and spurt for awhile, but eventually, after coffee, breakfast, a morning dog walk around the campground and the daily clean-up, it basically stopped soaking us. Continue reading Astoria, Oregon, With [almost] No Rain

Roads, Rain and Redwooods

We started the day at a KOA Campground in Manchester, south of Mendocino.  This is a spectacular part of the Pacific Coast Highway.  Small funky villages, long expanses of incredible natural beauty, and little to no commercial degradation.  Nothing fancy, either.  Simple life stuff. Continue reading Roads, Rain and Redwooods

All things fun (and tasty) in the life of the Beards